Based: Cape Town
Yolanda Y’awa – the Singer, the Fashion Designer: She is an acclaimed singer who has also travelled around the world with bands like Women unite Marimba Band, Tucan Tucan Afro-latin Band and Coda as ambassadors for South Africa. Being so strong willed and passionate has touched many hearts around the world. She has also shared the stage with the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi, Jimmy Dludlu, Freshlyground, Bongo Muffin, Kwela Tebza, Malaika and many more top SA and international artists.
She started singing at a very tender age. Joining Coda was one of the best moves that Y’awa could have made as she has reached out to millions with her voice, words and sense of worth as an African woman. Within the first year Coda was nominated as one of the five best bands for the Top Billing/Momentum Awards of the Year in 2007, for its fresh original sounds and trendy fashion style – thanks to the touch and styling of Y’awa Creations.
Y’awa hails from Gugulethu, a township situated in the east of Cape Town. “My love and passion for music and fashion started when I was still a toddler, where I used to dress anything that resembled a figure or statue. I’ve always had flair for good stylish clothes, a sense of line, colour, form and a sense of balance and proportion, and an eye for detail” Yolanda says.
Y’awa has since left Coda to realise her dream as a Solo Artist and successful entrepreneur. In 2010 she launched her debut album, “CrossOva: in a glamorous and breathtaking production and performance which included original material with a twist of Afro-contemporary jazz, afro-pop with a touch of reggae and Latin at the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village.
Her creative and versatile talents Y’awa has won a number of prizes and awards in her name including being invited to sing the SA and Australian national anthems next to Justin Burgh at the rugby match between SA and Australia June 16 2006. In September’11, Y’awa has received numerous invitations to showcase locally and internationally to prestige Music Conferences and exhibitions like, Popkomm Music Exhibition in Berlin and she also attended the SXSW 2012 Music Exhibition in Austin, Texas and WOMEX’13 to create an alliance of networks and contacts that will in turn invest in South African sought after and up and coming artists.
Yolanda Y’awa – the Motivational Speaker : As an accomplished brand and persornality, Y’awa has been invited as a Motivational speaker and Keynote speaker by companies like PPCEB, Common Purpose, Success in Heels to community arts organisations and schools. Her inspiring, passionate and warm personality has touched many with her positive attitude towards life and living positively with HIV. Y’awa discovered 16 years ago she was diagnosed HIV positive and for the first time, she says, she knew she had a purpose in life bigger than what she could imagine.”Being HIV positive made me realize how special I am and how I can use my strengths and talents to live positively. Creative beading helped me in the lowest points of my life and l now that I’m living my dreams as a Solo Artist. “THE SKY IS THE LIMIT. We only realize what we had when we lose it, but for me I NEVER realized what I was missing, which was PURPOSE, until I was diagnosed!”, says Y’awa.
Yolanda Y’awa – the MC and Dancer :Y’awa is also known for her trade mark “African Contemporary dance stances” that are so therapeutic and offers a breath of fresh air to those around her. Her bubbly and yet calm personality is sought to engage even the smallest child. Y’awa is determined to inspire through her life experience and her journey as a strong African woman who discovered her voice from a very tender age. She’s also know for facilitating dance classes to an international market and has also been invited as the Mistress of Ceremeonies(MC) for prestigious events with organizations like TB/HIV Care and also in Utrecht, Holland.